I just posted this message on the Zwift forums, but it’s not really that Zwift-specific, so thought I’d share with you lovely lot here too…
I have two sons and both are interested in riding alongside daddy in Zwift and I was wondering about people’s experiences here in the hardware setup needed. My oldest rides an MTB with 24" wheels and 8-speed derailleur, am wondering whether a zwift hub one would work with that or do I need some wheel contact trainer. My youngest has cerebral palsy and not enough balance reflex to ride a bike but can ride his Hase trike ok. I think indoors on a trainer the balance issue will be fine to use a two wheeled bike, probably around a 16" wheel size.
Ideally one trainer would work for both bikes, or some magical device that fits both. Fwiw I already have a Zwift Hub which I’m very happy with.
Yes, the Zwift hub one should work with a 24” bike, only consideration is that the tyre diameter is 3” smaller so you’ll need to prop the front wheel up to get the bike level and your kid may need a step to get onboard.
The Zwift hub One is officially compatible with 8spd chains, so no issues there.
I have a JetBlack volt smart trainer ( which is what Zwift rebadged) my road bike is only 16 speed and the 8spd cassette works fine with a spacer on the 11spd freehub. According to their website it’s compatible with 24” wheel bikes. The chain stays on a 16” wheel bike won’t be long enough to clear the drive wheel.
You don’t’ mention budget, so would a kickr bike be an option?
Minimum height is given as 152cm
11 year old daughter happily uses mine, but prior to this used a kickr core on her frog bike.
16” wheels suggests at least one is younger so might not work. A kickr core or zwift hub sounds like a good option if both bikes can use the same cassette, less of a problem in ERG mode. With either this or a wheel on trainer they will likely need help switching bikes, kickr bike is super easy to adjust and daughter does this herself
It’s great fun being able to ride together indoors or out
That’s great info, thanks! I might buy the Zwift Cog for my existing Hub to test that out. If I understand right, with the Zwift Cog I can only shift gears when using Zwift, not SYSTM, right? (no biggie, as I use ERG mode 90% of the time anyway).
For the smaller bike will have to think of something else…
Yes, you can only shift “gears” in Zwift with the Zwift Cog. It will work fine in Erg mode on Systm, only exception being that because you are in a real gear of only 34:14(or whatever you front chainring ) inertia is quite low such that high power low cadence intervals like those in SYSTM workouts like GOAT or Power Ststion can feel a bit choppy varying between ERG spiral of doom and spinning out due to the aforementioned lack of inertia.